I believe it was late last year that I read my first bully romance. At first, I found this genre appealing and sought out more books to read. I can’t remember what book I had read at that time. I tend to forget book titles unless it was a remarkable read and, also cause I read books online on www.booksnovels.com
This genre, as the name states, focuses on the relationship between the bully (often a popular boy) and the victim (a girl from a lowly background). Then, the hate relationship slowly blossoms into a love story.
The more books I read in the genre, my initial impression changed. I don’t have an issue with Love/hate relationships, who doesn’t love a great Enemies to Lovers story but, I disagree with calling this one of those.
Why do I have an issue with them?
It portrays Toxic and Abusive relationships to be rational. Why do I have an issue with them? How can a relationship where one person is dominant and self-centered feeding off the insecurities of the other be normalized, especially in the setting of a young adult?
I feel that my reaction would be a lot different if the characters weren’t usually between 15-19.
I’m more worried about the impression these books give. I’m grateful that I haven’t faced a lot of bullying in my life. It’s not the same for most teens. Not a lot of us young readers can distinguish reality from fiction, especially when it comes to romance. I still struggle to and, I turn 20 in a few months. It might be just a book to most people, solely fiction, but it can do a lot more damage.
Secondary school wasn’t my favorite chapter of life. I spent a part of it immersed in my books alternating between school books or novels. I found solace in reading and, that’s what books are to a lot of people. After all, isn’t fiction usually better than the reality we often face?
The average number of people bullied are often introverts, who also might be fond of reading novels. There’s a reason why YA books are popular because they focus on all the drama of being a teen but, we can’t relate to this. I certainly can’t.
I’ve read a scene where the bully encouraged her to commit suicide that she attempted but, the bully rushes in the nick of time to save her. That I remember it so vividly tells me that I was triggered by it. Why? A high percentage of suicide deaths were attempts gone too far. Most didn’t plan to go all the way. So, chances are there won’t be any saving happening.
Its fiction, I agree but, this borders around a very delicate topic in our society.
I’m not against writing a book about bullying with a romantic twist to it. I feel that the authors should find a way to empower the victim, create an environment where the bully understands the weight of their actions.
Then, maybe, just maybe, the victim can decide to set aside possible years of hurt to develop a romantic interest. Seems unlikely to me but, this is fiction, right? Not he suddenly saw her differently or, he realized that his actions were a result of some buried feelings. That’s bullshit.
Maybe I’m making it too personal but, I certainly won’t expose my child in the future to such. If you’ve read a book in this genre with a different approach, I’d like to know.
What’s your take on bully love? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop a comment in the comment section.
If you enjoyed this read, PIN IT to your book discussion board and SHARE!